TRIBUTES have been paid to a talented teenage Burnley rugby player who was found dead at his home.

Danny Collins, 17, was discovered by police after they obtained keys to his housing association property in Chapel Street, Brierfield.

Officers went to his house after concerns he had not been seen for a few days and discovered his body on Wednesday morning.

Danny had been in the youth teams at Burnley Rugby Club for several years, and had followed his dad Lee, a former player and captain, to the club.

In a tribute posted on the Burnley Rugby Union Football Club Facebook page, Mr Collins said: “I have lost my son Danny. I don’t know why this has happened but I am devastated beyond words and I love and miss him with all my heart.

“Words cannot describe the pain I am feeling right now.”

His team mates in the youth team are planning to pay tribute to him at their next fixture by wearing black armbands and holding a minute's silence.

John Hutchinson, the coach of the club’s senior colts team, said: “I have been one of Danny’s coaches since his first contact with rugby. The news has come as a real shock to everyone at Burnley Rugby Club.

“Danny will be missed by his team mates and the club as a whole.

“He was a keen, committed and talented young Rugby player who has played at the club since being a young boy.

“Danny was a key member of the club’s colts (youth) team and also had started playing for the senior teams this season “We have already received messages of condolences from several rugby clubs across the North West who had played against Danny.

“The players, coaches and the wider Burnley Rugby Club family’s thoughts and prayers are with Lee and his family.”

Danny was studying carpentry and joinery at Accrington and Rossendale College after previously studying at Shuttleworth College in Burnley.

Principal Lynda Mason said: “Both staff and students were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Danny Collins, one of our carpentry and joinery students.

“Our thoughts are with his friends and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”

Marc Wilkinson, programme area leader for carpentry and joinery, said: “All of our course tutors have expressed what a lovely person he was and that he will not be forgotten.

“They intend to incorporate Danny's practical work into a mural outside his practical workshop in the New Year."